Rap Pioneers: 2Pac and Bone Thugs


Dead rappers Tupac Shakur (2Pac) and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony were two of the most iconic hip hop acts of the 1990s. Tupac was known for his versatility while Bone Thugs pioneered a harmonic tongue-twisting style of rap.


2Pac’s songs covered all bases while many other rappers were pigeon holed as just gangster, conscious, or top 40 rappers. The West Coast leader released one of the best battle tracks of all time in “Hit Em Up” when he went against Notorious B.I.G and Bad Boy records. Also, the same man released “Dear Mama” a heartwarming track dedicated to thanking his mother for all she did for him. Other songs like “Brenda’s Got a Baby,” a song about teen pregnancy and “I Get Around,” a song about his sexual exploits, further demonstrate his versatility. 2Pac also produced mega hits like “California Love” which spent eight weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Top 100 List.


Bone Thugs, a group of five famous rappers from the streets of Cleveland, shocked the hip hop world when they debuted their fast rapping style mixed with them harmonizing like a church choir. The Eazy-E discovered group was thought to be using some kind of studio trick to sound like that. Then in 1995 they appeared on The Source Awards and showed it was no special effect. It was in 1996 that Bone Thugs performed their Grammy winning hit “Crossroads” at the MTV Music Awards and introduced their style to the masses. Bone’s style has stood the test of time as they continue to perform and talk of an upcoming new album.